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Poster: billymays55 Date: Apr 23, 2012 3:50pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Woman of Straw (1964)

I just looked at the early 80's transfer you spoke of and that does not mean anything. It was just a document showing United Artist putting there catalog up for loan collateral with 11,000 other some odd titles (some of which are even public domain if you read some of the titles). This is not a chain of ownership or proof of rights. It even states at the end of the document: "This is not a legal document."

United Artists doesn't own the film they just distributed it.

This post was modified by billymays55 on 2012-04-23 22:50:52

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Poster: Video-Cellar Date: Apr 23, 2012 4:06pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Woman of Straw (1964)

Across 110th Street & 1702 other titles; theatrical features, cartoons &...

Type of Work: Recorded Document
Document Number: V2235P404
Date of Recordation: 1987-02-03
Entire Copyright Document: V2235 P377-462
Date of Execution: 19Dec86
Title: Across 110th Street & 1702 other titles; theatrical features, cartoons & television programming. (Part 005 of 008)
Notes: Copyright assignment.
Party 1: M G M/U A Communications Company (formerly known as United Artists Corporation)
Party 2: United Artists Pictures, Inc.
Links: List of Titles

Names: MGM/UA Communications Company
United Artists Corporation
United Artists Pictures, Inc.

That is a recorded copyright assignment.

None of this matters anyway. The film was registered properly and contains a valid notice. It is tied up in copyright for 95 years regardless of what happens to the owners. If they did disappear, unfortunately they have not, the film might become orphaned, not public domain. These are different things. Using an orphaned work is still coipyright infringement, even if there isn't a complaining owner.

The "This is not a legal document" warning is the USCO's way of making people pay for official copies of documents from the database. It comes up on every database list, regardless of what they are: copyright assignment, collateral assignment, security transfer, quit claim, etc.

This post was modified by Video-Cellar on 2012-04-23 23:06:29

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Poster: billymays55 Date: Apr 24, 2012 4:52am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Woman of Straw (1964)

Thanks for the information it was very informative...

But isn't that the whole concept of public domain films is that they are abandoned or orphaned works, no longer have ownership, therefore belong to the public to build upon and do what they wish with them?

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Poster: billymays55 Date: Apr 24, 2012 8:43pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Woman of Straw (1964)

So your saying if I purchase a piece of property and I have the deed to the property then I die and I don't leave it to anybody (therefore abandoned/orphaned). A successor-in-interest (let's say an immediate family member who lived in my house at one time but had nothing to do with owning it or is not left to them) can just move in and claim they own it after I die?


Using that logic who's to say to that original owner who sold me the property can now come back and claim it?

That's why they have the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) who would turn the abandoned/orphaned property into public land for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

I don't see the logic in this at all.

So it seems logical that the film should fall into the public domain right?

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Poster: Video-Cellar Date: Apr 25, 2012 2:09am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Woman of Straw (1964)

Real estate and chattel (ie physical property other than real estate) is generally passed along based on statutory and common law principles of inheritance. If you own property and die intestate your property will go to your immediate next-of-kin, no matter how distantly related they are. It is only if you die intestate and have no immeadiate kin, no successors-in-interest, or others with a claim on your property (creditors, etc.), that your property may become state property.

Intellectual property has different principles of transfer. If the principal author of a "work" dies before the renewal or extension terms commence, the successors-in-interest are alowed to claim the copyright for the remaining term(s). With works-for-hire, if a company owning a copyright is taken over by another company or sells its rights, there is no reason why the new parent company cannot claim the copyright as a successor-in-interest (refereed to as a "PWH" in the USCO catalogue [Person/Party With History]) to the original company. There is currently no mechanism for an abandoned copyright to be rendered to the public domain.

Most films are not in the public domain due to abandonment. Take any of the major studios and their films that are PD, it is usually because of some clerical errors rather than concious abandment or release to the public domain.

This post was modified by Video-Cellar on 2012-04-25 09:09:34

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Poster: garthus1 Date: Apr 23, 2012 5:23pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Woman of Straw (1964)

If aliens are watching, I am sure that they would be amazed at 95 year copyright terms. The stupidity of tying up one's work for this time period cannot be undertsated. There is quiclky developing a sufficiently sized Public Domain collection of items, that the insistence on 95 year term retrictions on use will put all of this copyrighted crap where most of it belongs, in the dustbin of history. To call this stuff art is a joke, when it has become big business whose main intent is on the fleecing of the sheeple and the generating of cash. I for one refuse to pay to view their work at such extortionary rates and with such immoral restrictions on its use.

Gerry

This post was modified by garthus1 on 2012-04-24 00:23:47